Get a running partner! Having running buddies help you stay motivated.

Do you have a running parnter? Is a running buddy or buddies right for you? Why not. It is a lot easier to get out that door when someone is expecting to workout with you. Running partners don't even have to be people. Maybe you have a dog that needs to get in shape with you.

The best part of having a running buddy usually isn't even the running aspect. You can develop some great lasting friendships with a running partner. I am lucky. My running buddy is my wife. She just gave birth, so she's not quite up to running too much. I'm sure she'll be out there when our baby turns one and she stops nursing.

Joining a team is another great way to find someone to run with. I coach cross country, and I know I am going to run everyday at practice. If you are out of high school or college, there are running groups in most cities. Do an internet search for one.

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One important thing to consider is to find someone who is similar in ability level. It is frustrating to run with someone who consistantly blows your doors off each run.

One year coaching cross country, one of our best girls became friends with a first year runner. Before the next season, they both ran together all summer. Both of them were in great shape for the season. When it came time for the State meet, they both finished in the top 10. Their friendship helped both of them become phenominal runners. Having running buddies helps out a whole team.

If you don't want to go the human route, look into getting a dog. Be smart if you don't have one and want a dog that likes to run. I don't know my dog breeds, but make sure you do your research if you want a type of dog to run with. Don't come home with a Daschund and expect that little wiener dog to hammer out a 6 minute mile.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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